Invitation to speak at Nottingham Trent University, June 21 2012

I have been invited to speak at the Nottingham Trent University research conference Culture and Place: Past, Present and Future on June 21st 2012.

The abstract for my paper is a follows:

plastiCities (from the French plasticien / arts plastiques – but also plasticity: the capacity to be shaped or moulded; the adaptability of an organism to changes in its environment or differences between its various habitats) is an interdisciplinary, practice-led project involving students and academics from the University of Sheffield, creative practitioners and local communities. Emerging from occursus, a loose collective of artists, writers, architects, academics and students which coheres primarily around a weekly reading group and online through a blog (, plastiCities seeks to engage voices from the arts in the discourses that shape our city. Through a series of curated projects (including exhibitions and workshops) and the development of innovative hyperlocal media, plastiCities connects a variety of disciplines through an ongoing engagement with the ways in which we inhabit, imagine, represent and practise our city. As the director of plastiCities, in this paper I will present the development of the project since 2010, its conceptual rootedness in recent urban theory and its ethos as a community-based creative practice.

Issues relating to culture and place have always defined who we are. But today, more than ever, they assume policy relevance. Policy makers across a range of areas must be fully informed about the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity of the communities they serve. Papers are welcome in any area which contributes to this broad theme with an emphasis on, for example, what do diverse communities, families and individuals value? How have these values been shaped by experience, changed and been communicated over time? How are perceptions of rights and responsibilities changing? And what are the implications for the future development of communities? How does historical knowledge, through, for example, media narratives, literature, linguistic analysis and experience, inform us about how communities survived, thrived and changed? What can we learn from past communities that could inform future communities? How can we better exploit the potential of the past as a lens for looking to the future? How can narratives, images and representations of the past, present and future better inform current ideological, ethical and moral debates? How do educational approaches, cultural and religious perspectives and beliefs, utopian and dystopian visions, frame debates about the future? How can the creative potential of the arts and humanities be harnessed to imagine and envision alternative futures?  CFP, Nottingham Trent University


Arts/Science events at PSL Leeds

I have been invited to chair a symposium at PSL (Project Space Leeds), which will explore the ways in which the space between science and art manifests itself.

For more information, see Dialogues Closing Event

Talk at the University of Durham

Talk at the University of Nottingham

Jérôme Grivel speaks about his occursus residency at Site Gallery

occursus has its 3rd artist in residence at Site Gallery

As part of the occursus research project, Jérôme Grivel has just begun his residency at Site Gallery (Sheffield). This is the third residency we have been able to commission and host at Site, thanks to the generous funding of DLA Piper.

While Jérôme is here, Jérôme and I will be developing exhibition and publication plans. He will also be giving invited talks to final-year undergraduate students at the University of Sheffield and leading on of the occursus Reading Loops.

For more information, see


Reading Loop (2)

The next series of Reading Loop begins in October 2011.

The series – which will include texts by authors such as Jacques Rancière and Nicolas Bourriaud – takes place at the University of Sheffield.

In 2012, I will be editing a 2nd occursus book based on responses to the texts selected for the second series.